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Insurance, Entrepreneurial Start-Up, and Performance

Author

Listed:
  • Mette Ejrnæs

    (University of Copenhagen, Denmark)

  • Stefan Hochguertel

    (VU University Amsterdam)

Abstract

Availability of (partial) insurance mechanisms is arguably important for the decision of (riskaverse) workers to start up a risky entrepreneurial venture. Using administrative data from Denmark, where unemployment insurance (UI) is available to both wage earners and self-employed on a voluntary basis, we estimate the causal effect of UI cover on the self-employment choice of wage earners after instrumenting for the UI choice. The instruments we use are based on a series of policy variations that took place at three points in time during an observation period spanning three decades: only UI covered individuals could under certain conditions qualify for an early retirement (ER) program. Changes (reforms) in the eligibility conditions of the program that affected different age groups differentially at these three different points in time identify the UI choice process. Results show that the causal effect of insurance on the probability of starting up a venture is positive for would-be entrepreneurs, in contrast to correlations in the data or uninstrumented estimates. Using firm data, we also investigate how the newly insurance-induced entrepreneurs fare relative to their uninsured peers. Results suggest that they survive longer, but are not more likely to employ any workers or to make higher or lower profits.

Suggested Citation

  • Mette Ejrnæs & Stefan Hochguertel, 2014. "Insurance, Entrepreneurial Start-Up, and Performance," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 14-040/V, Tinbergen Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:tin:wpaper:20140040
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    File URL: http://papers.tinbergen.nl/14040.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Browning, Martin & Heinesen, Eskil, 2012. "Effect of job loss due to plant closure on mortality and hospitalization," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 599-616.
    2. Akyol, Ahmet & Athreya, Kartik, 2011. "Credit and self-employment," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 363-385, March.
    3. Brigitte C. Madrian, 1994. "Employment-Based Health Insurance and Job Mobility: Is there Evidence of Job-Lock?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(1), pages 27-54.
    4. Marco Caliendo & Frank Fossen & Alexander Kritikos, 2009. "Risk attitudes of nascent entrepreneurs–new evidence from an experimentally validated survey," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 153-167, February.
    5. Césaire A. Meh & Yaz Terajima, 2008. "Unsecured Debt, Consumer Bankruptcy, and Small Business," Staff Working Papers 08-5, Bank of Canada.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    self-employment; insurance; entrepreneurs; unemployment; panel data; early retirement;

    JEL classification:

    • C35 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions
    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings
    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship

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